Being in a car accident is never a pleasant experience. In addition to the frustration, you may experience if you have been rear-ended you may have sustained injuries that insurance companies and defendants will try to claim that you have made up or exaggerated. One of these claims that opposing counsel and opposing insurance companies try to downplay are whiplash injuries. However, these injuries can cause a person severe discomfort and may even result in lifelong injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured, let Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law help you through this difficult time. We believe that negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions, and are experienced in all types of personal injury cases. For nearly 20 years, our skilled personal injury attorneys have been representing clients in all personal injury matters.
Why Are Whiplash Injuries so Common?
The University of Queensland and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission have set forth a definition of what whiplash is in their booklet for whiplash recovery. In their publication the University of Queensland states that:
Whiplash is a common term for the acceleration- deceleration forces on the neck which may occur in rear-end or side impact motor vehicle collision, diving accidents, and or other mishaps. These forces may result in painful injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the neck and other spinal areas. They go on to state that while whiplash does have a high rate of recovery that the symptoms of whiplash can range from minor with no injuries or pain noted by a patient to symptoms lasting several weeks or permanently that can affect or alter a persons’ activity level.
Whiplash injuries can be quite complex and may include a variety of related problems, such as:
- Bone fractures – The National Athletic Trainers’ Association states that there are seven individual bones in the neck or the cervical spine. When there is a blunt force impact from a car accident there is always a possibility that one of these bones can break. Injuries of this type can limit your mobility and ability to handle tasks of daily living. Surgery and therapy are often required as part of the recovery process.
- Joint dysfunction – The neck has several important joints that allow the head and torso to move freely, one of the more common issues related to whiplash is when the joints in the spine or limbs lose their normal resiliency and ability to absorb shock. This is often referred to in the medical community as joint play, possibly leading to a restricted range of movement and pain.
- Disc herniation – whiplash accidents may also result in something known as a disc herniation. These injuries occur when a traumatic force causes small tears to the inner core of the disc to extend or extrude through its outer core.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
The neck is a very important structure in the body. In addition to holding the head and allowing it to turn, the muscles that run through the neck are connected to almost every area of the body even in the legs. Whiplash symptoms may not develop until 6-12 hours after the injury, or even after a few days. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Paraspinal muscle tightness and spasm which is also known as lower back pain.
- Muscle spasm.
- Reduced range of movements and neck tenderness.
- Headache, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, blurring of vision, nausea.
- Numbness in shoulders and arms.
- Paraesthesia and weakness in the arms and legs – depending on presence and site of any cord contusion.
- Swelling and dysphagia.
- Anxiety (general anxiety and/or travel anxiety when in a car) or depression.
- Leg weakness,
- Hyperactive tendon reflexes in the legs, upgoing plantar response, and/or sphincter disturbance, suggest damage to the spinal cord.
- Damage to nerve roots in the arms and cervical spine.
One of the most shocking symptoms for people is to have pain and weakness in the legs and feet. This underscores the severity of whiplash injuries and highlights why if you have a whiplash injury you should seek medical attention.
Compensation for Whiplash Injuries
When you have been injured you should always consider going to the doctor, only a medical professional can make a proper and accurate diagnosis. It is important that you do not listen to the defendant’s insurance company who may encourage you not to go to the doctor and question if you are really injured. Only you know your body and do not hesitate to seek a medical diagnosis if you have been involved in an accident. A doctor may want to look closely at the injury to ensure that there are no fractures of any of the bones in the neck, in addition, a doctor may order the following tests to determine the extent of a whiplash injury:
- CT Scans
- MRI scans
The types and amounts of damages you may be entitled to are dependent upon the injury you suffered, the facts and circumstances surrounding that injury, and the damages you have experienced. Generally speaking, in a viable personal injury action, the main category of available damages are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate you for the damages and injury you experienced. These can include any one of the following.
Past medical bills are one type of damages that can be recovered under Arkansas law. When you have been injured you go to the doctor to receive treatment. The tests that are listed above are common tools that a doctor uses to diagnose a whiplash injury. However, while these tests may be common their price can be extravagant costing tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, a doctor may require that you go to expensive physical therapy or may prescribe costly anti-inflammatory drugs. In these cases, a person may be able to recover some or all of their lost expenses.
In addition to past medical bills you may be able to recover the following:
- Future Medical bills
- Loss of income, wages, and earnings,
- Property damage to you and your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
In addition, there may be other expenses and compensation that you may be entitled to base on the facts and circumstances of your case. If you have been involved in an accident do not wait.
Contact A Knowledgeable Bella Vista Whiplash Attorney Today
Auto accidents and matters of premises liability are just two examples of the varied personal injury cases our firm regularly handles. If you or a loved one has been hurt by the negligence or careless actions of another party, you do not have to suffer from the consequences on your own. You may be able to seek compensatory damages. To speak with an experienced Fayetteville, Arkansas personal injury attorney, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.